Spellmasters Australia

Competition Rules

  1. SPELLMASTERS Spelling Competitions are open to all school children aged 15 years or younger and from Year 9 and under. There are two divisions: Junior (Grade 5 and under) and Senior (Year 9 and under).
  2. Words used in all competitions will be drawn from the Macquarie Dictionary.
  3. The competition is conducted in rounds.
  4. The competition is conducted orally. Once the Pronouncer has given the speller his/her word to spell, spellers should say the word aloud before they commence, so that the judges are confident the speller has heard correctly. The judges may not disqualify a speller for failing to pronounce the word either before or after spelling it.
  5. Once the speller has repeated their word they have one and a half minutes to complete the spelling. At the 60-second mark, the speller will be notified (e.g. ring of a bell) that they have 30 seconds remaining to complete the spelling. A second ring of the bell at 90 seconds will indicate that time is up. If the speller has not completed the spelling of their word at the 90-second mark, they are immediately disqualified. The judges may disqualify any speller who ignores a request to start spelling.
  6. The speller may ask the pronouncer to say the word again, define it, use it in a sentence, provide the part of speech, and/or provide the language of origin. The pronouncer shall grant all such requests until the judges agree that the word has been made reasonably clear to the speller. Root word questions will not be accepted.
  7. Once a speller starts to spell the word, each letter they say, including stumbles, is then committed to the spelling of the word and cannot be changed. Spellers may also choose to pause and then continue with the spelling of the word. However, when the speller recommences they cannot alter the letters and/or sequence previously stated.
  8. A speller should not be interrupted during the spelling of a word. The speller is permitted to complete the word before adjudication; regardless of whether in the process the spelling of the word is incorrect.
  9. Upon confirmation by the Judges, the speller will be advised of a correct or incorrect result. The Pronouncer will spell the word correctly immediately following an incorrect adjudication.
  10. A speller is eliminated from the competition once they spell a word incorrectly.
  11. A speller shall not be disqualified for failing to note that a word is capitalised.
  12. A speller shall not be disqualified for failing to note a space where the word given contains more than one part (e.g. New Zealand).
  13. A speller must indicate a hyphen where it appears in a word.
  14. Each speller remaining at the end of the round will progress to the next round.
  15. Spellers eliminated in the same round will tie for the same position.
  16. In any round where all spellers incorrectly spell a word, the round will begin again and all shall remain in that round.
  17. The winner of a qualifying round will be the only speller remaining who has correctly spelt his/her word.
  18. Winners, 2nd and 3rd place of the qualifying rounds advance to Final Championships.
  19. The FINAL Championship Round Rule: In the Finals the champion is not the champion until he or she has spelled correctly two more words than the speller or spellers placing second have spelled.
    At the end of the championship round, when there is only one speller remaining, the speller must correctly spell one additional word to win. If the speller misspells the word, then all spellers who were present at the beginning of the round return, and the next round begins.
  20. The spelling of each word in the competition will be audio recorded. In the event that the spelling of a word is contested during or at the end of a round, the audio recording of the speller may be replayed and assessed by the judges. Appeals may be filed by a parent, legal guardian, or teacher of the speller who is seeking reinstatement in the contest. The deadline for filing an appeal is before the speller affected would have received his/her next word had he/she stayed in the competition. No appeal will be entertained after that word has been given to another speller.
  21. The competition is in complete control of the judge/s and the decision of the Senior Judge is final.